Do You Have a Phobia?

Most people have fears of some sort, at some times in their lives. That is natural. But people who have a fear that stays with them constantly, or keeps coming back over and over again, are said to have a phobia.

Phobias can be fears of certain places, certain situations, or certain objects. Examples of some phobias are:

acrophobia, a fear of high places (tall buildings or mountain tops or high bridges)

agoraphobia, a fear of large, open spaces

ailurophobia, a fear of cats

claustrophobia, a fear of closed-in places (elevators or small rooms)

erythrophobia, a fear blushing

hydrophobia, a fear of water

mysophobia, a fear of dirt

nyctophobia, a fear of the dark

zoophobia, a fear of animals

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, explained phobias as current fears that really substituted for other fears from a person’s childhood, even though the original fear may probably have been forgotten.

Doctors usually are able to treat people with phobias by helping them to remember the original incident that produced the fear in the first place.